Our story

Maine Inside Out is a 501 © (3) nonprofit organization founded in 2008 and based in Portland, Maine. MIO facilitators and incarcerated youth have collaborated to hold theater programs at Maine’s juvenile correctional facility, Long Creek Youth Development Center, for the past ten years. More than 250 incarcerated youth have volunteered to create and share powerful original theater inside LCYDC and in communities across the state. Since 2014, MIO facilitators and young peopled released from LCYDC have engaged in community organizing and theater workshops to improve outcomes for youth returning home after incarceration through meaningful community engagement, peer and adult support, participant-led advocacy, leadership development and practical skill-building.

Maine Inside Out was founded with the intention of building a movement for transformative justice, in which communities acknowledge and attend to the social, structural and systemic roots of crime and harm. We believe that oppression is at the root of all forms of harm.

Maine Inside Out’s chosen practice is art, and in particular, theater. Our work has a strong foundation in Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed and the critical pedagogy of Boal’s friend and mentor Paolo Friere. Maine Inside Out workshops involve a collaborative, creative process in which participants learn to identify the root causes of both internal and external sources of oppression, while developing a powerful language to inform and engage the greater community in dialogue about social change.